Our known universe at 13.7 billion years is very old. Our galaxy, the Milky Way is among the oldest galaxies and is thought to be among the firsts to get under construction at around 13.6 billion years ago (give or take 800 million years.) Further studies are needed to reduce this margin of error. Our solar system formed from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago.


Our home, Earth is an insignificant and lonely speck of dot floating in this vast cosmic space. Modern man's history (last few thousand years) is but a snowflake on top of a mountain in comparison to our planet's entire history.

I am an atheist in the sense that I lack belief in the 4,000 or so gods that man has invented over time in history. However, I also cannot discount the probability of something along the lines of Baruch Spinoza's idea. An idea also shared by Albert Einstein.

To claim otherwise with absolute certainty that there is no god or perhaps an unseen force that may be indifferent to man and its existence is to me, simply hubris. So, why call him god? Epicurus. I ask, why attribute responsibility? Who invented the myth of an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent being?

For me at least, this much is true - the 4,000 or so gods are purely the inventions of man. Yet, there is much we do not know and understand. So, at this point on a personal note, I am thankful I have been given life by "the stars that were kind enough to die" and breathe the elements of life into our being. To be made aware and be able to contemplate on the grandeur and magnificence of this existence is in itself a breathtaking and humbling experience no matter how imperfect and meaningless this journey we call life may seem to be.

Indeed, we are all we have got. And this, my friends is how my small mind comprehends my humble place in this world.




Views: 12

Tags: einstein, mind, small, spinoza

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Comment by Suzanne Watts on February 22, 2010 at 1:44pm
I am so glad to find that someone else thinks it is very pretentious of anyone to claim they can fully understand the universe.
Comment by Roy The Infidel on February 21, 2010 at 9:20pm
"Also there reamin the physical fine tuning enigmas."

To paraphrase Victor J. Stenger:

"The edge of the observable universe is billions of light years away. The idea that some personal human god made all of these for a puny group of life forms on a tiny planet, orbiting an average star one of billions in an ordinary galaxy which itself is a speck of dust amidst them all, makes talk of a human-centric universe at least questionable.

Now about halfway through its estimated 10 billion year life time, our sun is slowly brightening. In about 1 billion years, its energy output will have increased at 10% turning Earth into a Venusian hothouse where plants wither, carbon dioxide levels plummet, and the oceans boil off."

The Fallacy Of Fine-Tuning How The Universe Is Not Designed For Humanity.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhz100k9bb8
http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/
Comment by Gary Epstein on February 21, 2010 at 4:33pm
Tom, the issue is one science deals with everyday. For example throw up a deck of cards 100 times and they fall together in a perfect suite.

Quantum mechanics is thought to work upon probabilities. The Unified Field Theory has yet to be derived. So, the question is, of all configurations the Big BLOOP could have created, why did it create this one? Of course, you are free to form your own theories, but if you accept science, that's what I met. You'll need explain and so far there really isn't one except a way out one of multi-Verses.
Comment by Tom Thompson on February 21, 2010 at 12:00pm
"Also there reamin the physical fine tuning enigmas."

There are no fine tuning enigmas. Life exists on Earth because conditions on Earth are ideal to support it. To suggest otherwise is to suggest that there is a fine tuning enigma surrounding the circumstances of your birth; that the probability that your father met your mother exactly as he did and that they conceived you just as they did is so impossibly low that your birth may have been the result of supernatural force. Calculating the odds of something which has already happened is pointless.
Comment by Roy The Infidel on February 21, 2010 at 11:47am
@ Gary

"For example what if Rare Earth theories prove true?"


I am inclined to support Frank Drake and Carl Sagan over Peter Ward and Donald E. Brownlee.

The number of exoplanets that have been discovered since 1989 (I think) continue to rise on a regular basis. It is just a matter of time that new Earths will be found with the aid of more powerful telescopes. New observations in selected regions of our Milky Way galaxy show that water is MORE abundant than expected. Rare Earth just doesn't cut it. It kind of reminds me of The Prohibition of Heliocentric Theory of 1616.

"Could this be explained by God and tuning forks or perhaps a vaster Universe where things get chatoic. Could the Universe be a great soup, where certain regions have special environments or physical laws?

The question is far more complex and perplexing than you have suggested."


Which "God" are you talking about? I purposedly refrained from dwelling into the realm of theoretical physics. In fact, I have theories of my own. I just need to do the math. Mine is more complex you would think I am a god. Just kidding. :)
Comment by Gary Epstein on February 21, 2010 at 9:37am
Although the scale of the Universe might be used to suggest mankind's insignifigance, it could also, with the current knowledge of science be used to represent the exact opposite.

For example what if Rare Earth theories prove true? The human race and more specifically planet Earth, the only oasis in the entire milkyway where Darwin evolution from unicellular life to mammals could have existed.

Also there reamin the physical fine tuning enigmas. If for example certain physical constants were mistuned by one part in billionths, life would be impossible. Stars would fail to form and so on. As we look outwards as far as telescopes may see, we see other galaxies that appear to be contained and to have formed by the same fine tuned Universe.

Could this be explained by God and tuning forks or perhaps a vaster Universe where things get chatoic. Could the Universe be a great soup, where certain regions have special environments or physical laws?

The question is far more complex and perplexing than you have suggested.
Comment by Tom Thompson on February 20, 2010 at 10:15am
The scale of the universe is a powerful and compelling statement about our significance. I think that few creationists ever think about it or know anything about it. When I explained all this to my father, for example, he was taken aback. It stands to reason that the Catholic church fought cosmology so hard and that cosmology helped bring about the age of reason.

Great post.
Comment by JayBarti on February 20, 2010 at 10:06am
To be made aware and be able to contemplate on the grandeur and magnificence of this existence is in itself a breathtaking and humbling experience no matter how imperfect and meaningless this journey we call life may seem to be.

It is humbling isn't it.

Personally I am always amazed at the size of the universe, so vast that it is really beyond human comprehension, I think the scale of it can scare a lot of people sometimes. We try and scale it down by using word like billions, millions and light years. However when you consider that light, the fastest particle that we know of, still takes about 8 minutes to travel from the sun to earth and thats only 149,600,000 km (92,957,130 miles) away. It always leaves me awe struck over the how far away the distances really are when considering the universe.
Comment by Roy The Infidel on February 20, 2010 at 9:45am
Hello, Eric.

Yes, it could be just mathematics. Ramsey Theory for example, the illusion of divine order arising from chaos. Any mathematician on A|N? I plan to read John Allen Paulos. Which work would be a good introduction?

Yes, I've seen that video, too. I am a follower of exogenesis and Panspermia.
Comment by Eric R. on February 20, 2010 at 8:24am
Also, you should check out Sagan's video on the "Drake Equation"--which calculates the probability of other life in the universe. The universe is SO huge that in fact it is unlikely that Earth is the only place to have sprung up life.

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